Why You Should Become a Respiratory Therapy Technician
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Why You Should Become a Respiratory Therapy Technician

Why You Should Become a Respiratory Therapy Technician
The Benefits of Working as a Respiratory Therapy Technician
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What's so great about working as a respiratory therapy technician? Here are some of the biggest benefits this position has to offer:

What is a Respiratory Therapy Technician?

What is a Respiratory Therapy Technician?

Before we talk about all of the benefits that this career has to offer, let's first discuss what this job involves. A respiratory therapy technician works with respiratory therapists and other physicians to help patients who suffer from breathing problems.

Technicians work in settings that provide respiratory therapy, such as hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes. No two days look the same in the life of a respiratory therapy technician. Generally speaking though, your job duties will include:

  • Setting up EKG machines and running EKGs on patients
  • Performing pulmonary function tests
  • Setting up, operating, and adjusting oxygen therapy humidifiers and equipment
  • Recording treatments and keeping track of patient charts
  • Cleaning, sterilizing, and disassembling equipment
  • Collecting patient samples and sending them to laboratories for analysis
  • Setting up and adjusting ventilators

As you can see, a respiratory therapy technician has a lot of responsibilities. You'll also be responsible for communicating with patients during their appointments and ensuring they feel comfortable. 

The Benefits of Working as a Respiratory Therapy Technician

What's so great about working as a respiratory therapy technician? Here are some of the biggest benefits this position has to offer:

1. Start Your Career Quickly

One of the biggest downsides to working in the medical field is that oftentimes, it can take years and years of schooling before you can start your career. Many students also need to take out huge loans to afford school.

However, this is not the case for respiratory therapy technicians. To become a respiratory therapy technician, you just need an associates' degree. Typically, an associate's degree takes two years to complete.

Upon completing your degree, all you need to do is apply for licensure in your state, and you can begin working. You can check out Respiratory Therapy Zone to learn more about the educational requirements for this career. 

2. Stepping Stone for Other Careers in the Medical Field

Working as a respiratory therapy technician also serves as a great stepping stone for other careers in the medical field. Many people who work as respiratory therapy technicians go on to become respiratory therapists.

While many respiratory therapists have bachelor's degrees, you can also become a respiratory therapist with an associate's degree. If you have a few years of experience under your belt as a technician, you'll likely be able to find a job as a therapist without needing to go back for any additional schooling.

Respiratory therapists have many of the same job responsibilities as technicians, so your experience as a technician will no doubt help you in this career field.

Working as a respiratory therapy technician can also serve as a great starting point for other careers in the medical field. Even though working as a technician isn't a short cut to becoming a doctor, your experience in the medical field will be seen as a great advantage when applying for schools, residencies, and jobs down the road.

Plus, the foundational knowledge you learn as a respiratory therapy technician will serve you well in every medical field. When earning your associate's degree, you'll take classes in anatomy, physiology, biology, and chemistry. All of these courses are required to enter the medical field. 

3. Unique Work Life 

If you hate the idea of working a 9 to 5 office job, then working as a respiratory therapy technician may be for you. Many respiratory technicians work 12-hour shifts just three days per week, so they get four-day weekends.

You also have the option to work nights, overnights, or early morning shifts to avoid the 9 to 5 schedule. And, it's very easy to pick up shifts in this career field if you want more money.

Plus, you won't be toiling away at a desk all day like many office workers in America. Instead, you'll spend a lot of your time on your feet working directly with patients.

Because the responsibilities are so varied, most respiratory therapy technicians find that their workdays fly by.

4. Earning Potential 

While you won't be making a doctor's salary, you can make pretty good money working as a respiratory therapy technician. According to the BLS, you can make an average of $24.21 as a respiratory therapy technician.

The top 10% of technicians earn $35.25 per hour. This averages out to $50,350 to $73,330 in annual wages. If you decide to advance your career and become a respiratory therapist, you can make an average of $61,330 per year. The top 10% of earners make $82,380 per year.

As you can see, this job has great earning potential. Plus, because you only need an associate's degree to become a respiratory therapy technician, you won't have a huge amount of debt to pay off when you graduate. 

Are You Ready to Become a Respiratory Therapy Technician? 

Now that you've read this guide, it's time for you to decide if a career as a respiratory therapy technician is right for you. If the answer is yes, then it's time to start looking into programs in your area.

And, be sure to check back in with our blog for more career guides. 

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